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How large is your SharePoint farm?

I'm trying to get a feel for what others are doing with their SharePoint backups.  I've been reading about issues with SharePoint backups that have been resolved and I think that the majority of the backups have been farm-level backups using the backup selection of

"Microsoft SharePoint Resources\"

If this is true, then the SharePoint farms must be relatively small .... like less than 10TB.  Am I correct in this or is anyone doing backups of SharePoint farms that are larger than that?

Please share your experiences here....I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested in this.

Part of the reason for asking this question is that I don't believe that NetBackup will scale well with SharePoint.  This could be due to the way that SharePoint is architected and not a fault of the NetBackup SharePoint agent.


5 Replies

Correct, most cases I've

Correct, most cases I've worked with are farms with less than 5TB of data.  

Beyond that, I've heard of a handful of cases from Symantec employees of over 10TB, but it was rare.  In those cases, much of the limitation was in deed the design of the SharePoint Environment and the disk types used (whether an off-host backup could be used or not)

SharePoint design does not take backup into consideration...

In my opinion based upon very limited data, I believe that the design of a SharePoint environment does not take backup into consideration at all. 

In order to backup a SharePoint farm using the file list that I mentioned in the starting post of this thread, you will be limited by the bandwith of the media server responsible for that SharePoint backup policy.  For example, let's assume you can get 200GB/hr of throughput (70MB/sec *3600 = approx. 200GB/hr..well, it's more than that, but I'm rounding down here).  That's about 2TB in 10 hours, so you'd need a weekend to backup a 10TB farm.

So, if you have a farm with some multiple of 10TB of content data (20TB, 30TB, etc) do you do a full-farm backup?

another small SP farm

I just got an email from another forum member that his SharePoint farm is only 500GB.  So far we have relatively modest sized farms which leads me to believe that there are no problems with backups completing in a timely manner.

when it comes to "large" is a large farm?

From what I've been able to scope out with Google searches, many sources (including Microsoft) say that a "large" SharePoint farm is one with content data in excess of 5TB.  I still think that it would be interesting to get a few more responses from people on this forum as to the size of their SharePoint farm so that we can see what the distribution is.

I am still of the opinion that if you have a farm that is greater than 5TB you are going to encounter significant difficulty in performing backup and recovery.  A backup will be done using a single policy (using the SharePoint agent) of the entire farm which means going through a single media server.  So, even if you have multiple back-end SQL servers and get one backup stream per SQL server, your bottleneck will be the network coming into and going out of the media server that will be performing the backup.

Another data point...

I heard from a Microsoft engineer who works on SharePoint that the largest farm that he knows of is 25TB and it is very difficult to back up.  The next largest SharePoint farm that he knew about was only 7TB.

I would still very much like to hear from others about how large their SharePoint farms are as far as total content.